How many years have we asked for a permanent status? Don’t even answer that question for we know we have been pleading far too long. The changes made last November 30th proves irrelevant to what we really need to be able to work with some dignity here in Canada.
Canadian Immigration and Citizenship has made changes to the Caregiver program promising faster processing of permanent residency application. Although this may sound auspicious, these changes only give caregivers problems down the road.
The requirements have become strict. Too strict. It asks caregivers to have at least one year of Canadian post-secondary credential. It is also asking caregivers to provide proof of language fluency, which is very difficult to achieve for most Filipinos. Why is Canada asking for language fluency specifically from Filipino caregivers but it readily allows other nationalities to enter its country as immigrants even without knowing a word of English? That seems to be very unfair.
Also, if caregivers were to be asked for Canadian post-secondary credentials, that requires applicants to go through schooling on Canadian soil. Without a permanent residency status, the tuition fee would triple because caregivers would be considered international students. That is an impending problem for those who are hoping to get residency status.
Lastly, the 5,500 cap placed on residency application is far too small for the amount of caregivers that are in Canada. Instead of letting caregivers reunite with their families after 24 months, this new cap can potentially extend the waiting time for applicants if the annual limit has been filled. This puts a lot of pressure and anxiety on hopeful applicants because they are only given a one-year window to apply for permanent residency. What will happen if they have to wait another year for the cap to reset? Will they have to restart another 24-month caregiver experience? Will they be deported if they were not able to submit their application within the cap of that year?
A cap is not what we were asking for. We were not asking to be tested for language fluency. We were not asking Canada to raise the education requirements. We are asking for a residency status. Some, if not all, are even asking for a conditional permanent residency status in order to make living and working here fair and bearable. Is that too much to ask in exchange for taking care of Canada’s children, elderly and disabled?